IPOH, July 14 — He got the gold but the mission to equal the national record and qualify for the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar this September was simply out of reach for national jumper Lee Hup Wei at the 2019 Perak Athletics Open Championship here yesterday.
The 32-year-old athlete even failed to get anywhere near his personal best after only managing to clear 2.22 metres at the Perak Stadium here.
The veteran high jumper cited fatigue from waiting almost 90 minutes for his turn to jump as the reason for his lacklustre performance, saying that the event started at 8 am, with athletes already in the stadium as early as 7 am.
“My turn only came at 9.30am, and it was quite tiring (from the wait) and I failed to make a good jump,” he said when met by Bernama here yesterday.
The 32-year-old admitted that despite winning the gold medal, he was unhappy with his performance as his mission was to achieve a new personal best and equalise the national record of 2.30m of fellow team mate, Nauraj Singh to qualify for the Uzbekistan Open, next month.
Hup Wei, the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games gold medallist and a former national record holder, had his best personal achievement of 2.28m at the AACT Track and Field Championships in Canberra, Australia, last year.
Independent athlete Prakash Krishnan claimed the silver with a height of 2.10m and the bronze was won by another national high jumper, Norshafiee Mohd Shah on 1.95m.
Meanwhile, national athlete, Elena Goh Ling Yin won the gold in the women’s 5,000 meters walk event with a time of 27 minutes 23.46 seconds despite facing a strong challenge from Bukit Jalil Sports School student, Koong Jia Lin, who came in second 30 seconds behind her.
Elena, the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 10 km event gold medal winner, said she’s using the competition in a bid to qualify for the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines in November.
“If I am given the opportunity, I would like to go to China in September to participate in the 20km event to qualify for the SEA Games.
“I need to reach an hour and 48 minutes for the 20km event, and hopefully the Malaysian Athletics Federation will give me the opportunity since there is no 20km event in the country...so I have to go abroad to qualify,” said the 23-year-old athlete.
Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) athlete, Noor Amelia Musa took the gold medal and bettered her personal best in the women’s 5,000m event with a time of 18 minutes 31.05 seconds, 15 seconds better than her Melaka Open mark last week.
The 33-year-old Noor Amelia, a mother of one, defeated A. Manissha of Selangor State Sports Council who clocked 20:09.76s while her teammate, Nur Syahipah Rozaki settled for the bronze.
Noor Amelia, who works at the Kuala Lumpur Police Training Center, said she would continue to improve her time in several domestic championships and the 2019 World Police and Fire Games in China, next month, to win a place in the SEA Games squad. — Bernama